Career Advice IB/MBB/BD ->PE/GE?Subscribe
Apologies for the somewhat long post but in a unique situation & would like to gain some insight.
Have had a good amount of conversations with people from IB, PE/GE, VC & MBB. My goal is to work within a PE/GE firm that focuses on tech , such as GA, Thoma Bravo, Vista, Insight, etc. within the deal/investment team. However, my background is going to make the journey challenging.
Background: 6 years of sales/BD experience within technology, most recently (past 3&1/2 years) have been a VP for a tech firm that is PE backed, LMM/MM PE firm. Grew out a new office, increasing revenue by roughly 10% for company within the first 3 years & assisted with some post-acquisition integrations. Have some fairly good & relevant experience on the operating & revops side of things. Came from a non-target university, health science degree & a pretty bad GPA compared to most people on this forum. Was also a D1 athlete & captain.
Paths I have discussed with people within the industry:
MBA: go to a top b-school, land a decent summer internship then use this as a transition point to enter into PE/GE investing. Not sure how possible this will be given my lack of investing experience prior to b-school, however, hoping my 6 years within tech as well as having a great operating understanding of portcos in the tech space could help as long as I demonstrate the technical finance skills. However, couple big downsides to this route - $200K plus 2 years of no salary would be tough given mortgage, expenses & what not. Also, given my shitty GPA, non-target school/major not sure if I could even get into a top 10 MBA program. I'm sure I could do decent on the GMAT mid 700s if I put in the effort to prep properly, plus I have been taking a good amount of online course from Wharton & Harvard online that are directly related to finance & investing getting great grades on them. Also, have a fairly good story behind my grades not being good in college (not a major I was interested in, had ACL surgery, played a D1 sport, etc.)
as well as by the time I would apply I'd be 7 years removed from university. However, still not sure if this would be enough to gain entrance to a top 10 MBA program. Thoughts?
CFA L1: some people have told me that if I get a CFA that would show my commitment & finance knowledge & allow me to get a associate role within a EB/MM IB if I did some great networking within a TMT/tech focused group. Have great leadership & tech knowledge which would set me apart from the usual associate but lack the hands on technical finance aspect. Given the CFA L1 is a lot of time as well, want to make sure this would actually allow me to land a role within a decent IB firm which will then allow me to transfer to PE/GE. Would getting a CFA L1 allow me to gain entrance into a GE firm that does heavy souring? My sales & tech experience would help me excel in the sourcing aspect & the CFA L1 could help improve my technical finance skills rounding everything out. Thoughts on if this route would be possible?
MBB/T2 PE consulting: might be just as hard to gain entrance into this as opposed to other roles given my background, however, might be able to network myself into an experienced hire position within MBB & then transition while within MBB to the PE DD team & then transition PE/GE. Also not sure if this is possible or not.
PE Ops role: Given my experience related directly to PE Ops, I could potentially join a smaller PE/GE firm on their ops team then somehow work my way over to the deal team once I have proven myself. However, have not heard of anyone doing this yet so not sure if this would even be a possibility.
Change roles within my current firm: Prior to Covid-19 we had planed to do 2-3 acquisitions within the next 18 months of so. Could try to talk to my CEO & become someone a souring/BD/corpdev role within my firm working on the acquisitions with my CEO & our PE firm. One, not sure if this would be possible & two, if it was, would this experience allow me to work for a PE/GE firm on their investment team given my current firm in sub 200 employees?
Does anyone have any advice/guidance on which path would best lead to my end goal? Obviously all these paths will be challenges & an uphill battle but more than willing to make the effort in order to have my ideal career. Would just need to know which path would provide the best results as I do not have the time to focus on all 5 routes at once.
Thanks in advance!